Lemon Meringue Pie

Total Time:
2 hr 42 min
30 min
2 hr
12 min

6 to 8 servings

  • Lemon Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
  • 1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows
  • Meringue Topping:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Lemon Filling:

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.

Meringue Topping:

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.

Yield: topping for 1 (9-inch) pie

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3.6 455
This pie was an absolute disaster! I followed the recipe to a T (and even watched the video), but the lemon filling didn't set and the pie turned out like lemon soup instead. I'm extremely disappointed and wish I read a few of the comments below before I started making it. I strongly suggest making some of the edits other users have suggested (less water, more cornstarch, cooking the curd longer) OR finding a different recipe. This is an epic fail of a recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy to make if using pre-baked pie shell and you have a mixer for the meringue. Tried this with Meyer's lemons. No other recipe changes. The orange under-flavor of the Meyer's was distinct. To be honest, I preferred the regular lemon version but it's worth a shot for something different . item not reviewed by moderator and published
Under the recipe, there is a link to a video that shows the correct consistency you should cook the filling to before adding the yolks, then before the juice. As long as you're comparing the stages of your custard-cooking process with the video, you can't fail. Excellent pie. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this pie make it every time and comes out yumo thank you Alton Brown my mother in law loved it to made me look good . item not reviewed by moderator and published
This should be named Lemon Meringue SOUP Pie…I trusted nerdy ol' Alton Brown to get this right but NO!!! While the lemon soup was tasty, if you want a real, gelled, lemon custard in your pieshell, don't make this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the custard for this pie twice before putting it all together and baking it. I didn’t read the reviews before I dove in; following the recipe. I didn’t realize that the reviews are part of the instructions. I think I actually overcooked the custard the first time, rendering the cornstarch useless. The second time, I apparently followed the recipe perfectly because my custard came out soupy and I went ahead and baked my pie and now I have a loose pie. I don’t see how you give a recipe 4-5 stars when this is what generally happens. Annoying. item not reviewed by moderator and published
After reading the reviews, I decided to tweak my pie a little bit. After adding the butter and lemon juice, the custard did become "soupy" as everyone keeps putting it. I removed a few whisk-fulls of the custard, and mixed in a tablespoon or two of corn starch in a bowl. I added the corn starch/custard mixture back to the pot, and brought the entire thing to a boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly. That thickened the custard up nicely, and I proceeded with the rest of the recipe. It turned out beautifully! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is such a good recipe. i always add a little more lemon juice though, and always fresh squeezed. i think a little more cornstarch has worked too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lemon Soup! Followed recipe step by step and what a disaster! It was fine until the step of adding lemon juice, butter, and zest. It was thick then turned to the consistency of soup! Should have read the reviews. I cannot believe you still have this recipe up for folks to ruin their Christmas Dinners! Shame on you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made exactly as instructed and it came out fabulous! It was the perfect blend of tart and sweet, and the filling firmed up just fine. Will be making this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i have made this pie so many times. i also believe closer to 20 minutes cooking time works. be sure to boil the mixture until it is very thick but not tough. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond